Turkish Navy Starts Deniz Yıldızı 2012 Exercise

F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the Milgem class corvette on her northbound passage in Bosphorus prior to the Deniz Yıldızı naval exercise.

According to the official announcement made from Turkish Navy website the naval exercise Deniz Yıldızı 2012 has started today.

The exercise will be conducted in the Black Sea and Marmara Sea. 8 frigates (half of the inventory), 1 corvette, 3 submarines, 7 fast attack craft, 4 auxiliaries, 4 maritime patrol aircraft, 6 helicopters and various special forces and EOD teams will take part in the exercise. The non navy units taking part in the exercise are 13 coast guard vessels, 2 coast guard helicopter and various planes from Turkish Air Force.

Live missile firings will be performed during the exercise.  Inebolu, Sinop, Samsun, Ordu, Trabzon, Rize, Hopa  and Novoroski ports will be visited by the participating units.

The aim of the exercise is to test the ability and the capability of Turkish Navy to performs its duties especially in the Black Sea. In this context a section of the Deniz Yıldızı 2012 will be conducted with the participation of the BlackSeaFor (which was activated on 6th April). This joint training will improve the ability of the Black Sea navies to make joint operations and to increase their readiness and training levels.

The Turkish Navy schedules the annual Deniz Yıldızı exercise  to be at the same time with the Spring activation of the BLACKSEAFOR. During the last couple exercises one decommissioned ship was sunk as target during the live firing part.


TCG Zafer Still Active, Takes Part In UNIFIL

TCG Zafer in Mersin. Photo: turkships.com

Turkish Navy’s sole surviving Knox class frigate, F-253 TCG Zafer is very active despite her age. Last year she took part in Operation Unified Protector. She had her photos posted on the Facebook page of USNS Kanawha.

I was thinking that she may have been already decommissioned but the old lady was seen today in Mersin harbor.

TCG Zafer in Mersin. Photo: turkships.com

The UN crest used by the naval vessels taking part in UNIFIL is clearly visible in the photo below, which was also taken today. This indicates that TCG Zafer is now taking part in UNIFIL mission.  

So when the old Russian Kashin class destroyer Smetlivy arrives in the eastern Mediterranean in a couple of days, she will meet at least one other ship close to her age.

Turkish Navy Naval Parade In Dardanelles

Just like the last year, on 18 March 2012, Turkish Navy organized a naval parade in Dardanelles, to commemorate the 97th anniversary of the victory against the Allied Fleet in 18 March 1915.

Last year it was a 25 hours round trip to Çanakkale for me, but this year it was a family event for the whole weekend.

Following ships took part in the parade:

F-240 TCG Yavuz. She did not take part in the parade but was open for public visiting.

F-243 TCG Yıldırım

F-244 TCG Barbaros

F-245 TCG Oruçreis

F-246 TCG Salihreis

M-270 TCG Akçay

P-330 TCG Kılıç

P-332 TCG Mızrak

P-336 TCG Zıpkın

P-338 TCG Bora


SG-85 TCSG-85

SG-91 TCSG-91

SG-303 TCSG-303

SG-308 TCSG-308

SG-312 TCSG-312

SG-508 TCSG-508

NATO Mine Task Force Departed From Casablanca

Yesterday, Standing NATO Mine Counter Measure Group 2 (SNMCMG2) ended their 5 day visit to Casablanca, Morocco. The port visit was a part of an extensive Programme for the Group aimed at furthering and increasing cooperation and understanding between NATO and Morocco.

SNMCMG-2 visited Tunisia and Algiers before arriving in Morocco.

The visit will allow NATO units to foster relationships with civilian and military authorities building further on the excellent relations already developed under NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue Programme. It also offers national authorities the opportunity to apprise themselves of SNMCMG2’s capabilities. During the visit, the crews will have an opportunity to visit historical and cultural sites.

The Commander of SNMCMG2 is Captain Abdulhamit SENER (Turkish Navy) embarked on his flagship TGS S. MEHMETPASA. “It gives me enormous pleasure to begin this important visit to Morocco and in particular to have this opportunity to meet and train with the Royal Moroccan Navy. The visit will culminate in a PASSEX (Passage Exercise) which will be a great opportunity for both NATO and Morocco to demonstrate how well our ships can work together,” stated Captain Sener.

This is the current composition of SNMCMG-2:

A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Turkey Flagship
M-268 TCG Akcakoca Turkey Minehunter
M-34 SPS Turia Spain Minehunter
5556 ITS Alghero Italy Minehunter
M-30 HMS Ledbury UK Minehunter

First New LCT Handed Over To The Turkish Navy

Turkish Navy maintains a large fleet of medium sized landing vessels. There are 25 LCT’s and 16 LCM’s according to Jane’s fighting Ships in the inventory of Turkish Navy. The newest of these vessels is more than 20 years old and their top speed is around 8,5 knots.

In 2007, Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (UDI), submitted a Request for Proposal for 8 LCT’s. These new vessels were to be built in Turkey and had to be fast. From the four companies that submitted to the tender, ADİK shipyard was chosen. On June 2009, a contract was signed between UDI and ADİK for the production of the ships. The exact value of the contract was not made public but it is estimated to be around 100 million EUR.

The first ship Ç-151 was launched on 2 October 2010. The second ship Ç-152 was launched on March 2011. As of March 2012 the first five vessels have been launched. The construction of the remaining three is continuing.

According to ADIK press release each ship has over 7 kilometers of inox piping and over 50 kilometers of cabling. It took on average 400 days to construct one LCT. The LCT’s are 80 meters long. When loaded their speed can be up to 18,5 knots. Unloaded they can reach 20 knots.

Specifications for the LCT’s:
Length o.a: 79,85m
Beam: 11,70 m
Displacement 1155 tons full load
Speed: 20kts
Range: 400 nm / 16 kts
Propulsion: 2 x 2320 kW
Weapons: 2 x 25mm; 1 x 12,7mm
Crew: 22
Cargo: 320 tons / 250 troops

Today the first of the class Ç-151 was handed over to Turkish Navy. The remaining 7 will be delivered in 3 months intervals.

I wish Ç-151 friendly winds and following seas.

NATO On SNMCMG-2’s Visit To Algeria

A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa and the SNMCMG-2 ships in Algeria. Photo: NATO

As reported earlier, the SNMCMG-2 left Algeria the second stop during their tour of North African States on 24th February.

NATO has released some photos and a short news report about that visit. Currently the task force should be in Casablanca, Morroco, but there are no official news about it.

Welcomed into port on  21 February by Algerian Naval Authorities, the Mine Hunters of the Group had a busy programme of courtesy calls,  receptions, and a visit organized for the crews to the Algerian Military Museum. Algerian Naval officers were welcomed aboard the Flagship TCG Sokullu Mehmetpasa for a tour and briefing by COM SNMCMG2, Captain Abdulhamit Sener.

“This was an extremely successful visit and once again demonstrated the importance of these port visits in enhancing and furthering NATO’s 
relations with Mediterranean Dialogue countries,” said Captain Sener. “The opportunity to meet the ambassadors, military attaches and consuls from NATO,PfP and MED Dialogue countries in the area alongside representatives of the Algerian Navy is a very valuable side product of 
these visits.”

As the ships left port on 24 February they were joined by the Algerian fast patrol boat EL CHIHAB for a Passage Exercise (PASSEX). This allowed NATO and Algerian crews to practice maneuvering and other skills. For the occasion an Algerian Navy sea rider boarded TCG SOKULLU MEHMETPASA to follow the exercise in the company of Captain Sener.

NATO Task Force Departed From Algeria

Today the NATO mine counter measures task force SNMCMG-2 has ended its 4 day port visit in Algeria. The next port of call for the task force will be Casablanca, Morroco.

The Port Visit will last from 21to 24 February and forms part of an extensive Programme for the Group aimed at increasing cooperation and understanding between NATO and Algeria.

The visit will allow NATO units to foster relationships with civilian and military authorities and offers the opportunity for national authorities to apprise themselves of SNMCMG2’s capabilities and ongoing activities. During the visit, the crews will have an opportunity to visit historical and cultural sites.

This is the current composition of SNMCMG-2:

A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Turkey Flagship
M-268 TCG Akcakoca Turkey Minehunter
M-34 SPS Turia Spain Minehunter
5556 ITS Alghero Italy Minehunter
M-30 HMS Ledbury UK Minehunter


Click for the previous Algeria visit of SNMCMG-2

A Submarine Sighted

On 22 February 2012, in the early morning hours, one Turkish Type 209 / 1400 class submarine sailed through Bosphorus to Marmara Sea. Since Turkish Navy stooped painting the pennant number of the submarines on their hulls, it is impossible to identify each individual submarine anymore. While this new painting scheme helps the submarines to blend and prevents IR/FLIR/LLTV using trackers or electro-optic directors any high contrast target, it makes ship spotting difficult. All I can say is that this is not S-357 TCG Gür, as she is taking part in Proud Manta 2012.

With 6 Type 209/1200 and 8 Type 209/1400 class submarines in service, Turkey has the largest conventional submarine fleet in the NATO.

Commander Of Turkish Navy In South Africa

Dignataries official photo In front-Adm Bilgel and V Adm Mudimu at the back- R Adm Teuteberg, Col Alp, Capt Karacaoglu, Cdr Can and R Adm Higgs Photo: SAN

The Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Admiral Murat Bilgel made a visit to South Africa between 23rd and 26th January 2012.

According to the South African Navy website a framework agreement for bilateral cooperation between two navies was yielded during this visit. As long as the piracy problem on Horn of Africa exists, Turkish Navy will be present in the Indian Ocean to protect. Therefore it is a very logical move for Turkish navy to establish cooperation with regional navies.

I know this news is a bit dated but I have just come across on the SAN webs site.

A Framework Agreement for potential Bilateral Cooperation between the South African and Turkish navies was yielded when Commander of the Turkish Navy, Admiral Murat Bilgel visited South Africa as a guest of the Chief of the SA Navy (C Navy), V Admiral Johannes Mudimu from 23-26 January 2012. The Admiral was accompanied by a delegation consisting of his wife Mrs. B. Bilgel, Capt Nihat Karacaoğlu and Cdr Yϋksel Can but was also escorted by Turkish Defence Attaché Col Erdogan Alp and his wife. Their visit would encompass a tour of sights and scenes spanning over three provinces ensuring no splendid beauty of the country would be missed.

After a grueling seven hour flight from Istanbul to OR Tambo International Airport, Admiral Bilgel’s first port-of-call was an honorary visit to the Turkish Ambassador to SA Mr. Vakur Gökdenizler, before proceeding to SA Navy Headquarters for a courtesy call with C Navy. During the courtesy call, the two admirals discussed possible future engagements between the two navies. The Navy Staff Council then gave the visiting delegates a presentation on the inner workings of the SA Navy which was reciprocated by the Turkish delegates who also paid a courtesy call to Chief of the SANDF at Army Headquarters who was represented by A/C SANDF Lt Gen Masondo. The two counterparts discussed the similarities and challenges between Defence Forces and then exchanged gifts to honour the occasion. The hectic programme for visiting delegates was concluded by a relaxing dinner in the evening hosted by C Navy.

The visit was a first of its kind of this magnitude between the two navies and was instrumental for paving the way for deeper ties between the two countries.

Ship Movements In Eastern Mediterranean

The insert: IVan Bubnov of Igor Terokhin from Shipspotting.com

The Russian Boris Chilikin class fleet oiler Ivan Bubnov is in Syrian port Tartus since Friday.  She left her home port Sevastopol and passed through the Bosphorus on 22th January 2011. Since then she has been cruising in the Mediterranean.

One of my reader, Mr. Tom, was able to intercept  a couple message from her while she was off the Tartus. Her deployment to Syria makes it interesting. Why is she there? Will she resupply more Russian ships coming to Syria? Or is she there as a symbol of Russian solidarity for the Syrian regime?

We have only questions and no answers at this time.

One another interesting ship spotting of this weekend was the sight of NL-125 TCG Osman Gazi in Iskenderun port. NL-125 TCG Osmangazi is the biggest amphibious ships of Turkish Navy. And until the two LST ships under construction at ADIK Shipyard join the Navy, she is also the newest.

She was launched in 1990 and commissioned in 1994. She is the third generation of indigenous designed large amphibious ships and has all the design characteristics of Turkish large landing ships. She can carry 900 troops and 15 main battle tanks. In 2011, she underwent an extensive modernization in Alaybey Naval Shipyard in Izmir. This modernization done by Turkish Navy changed the ship considerably.

Her deployment to Eastern Mediterranean creates only more questions.


%d bloggers like this: